Sep 07

Steven Matz: About Last Night (September 06)

There was plenty to like about Steven Matz’s return to the Mets rotation on Sunday afternoon. He occasionally flashed a nasty curveball, striking out Christian Yelich in the first and Cole Gillespie in the second and the fourth with a few of his more notably filthy offerings. Also, as in his other starts, he worked both sides of the plate. I always wonder if young pitchers will be able, or willing, to work inside. Bringing a mid-90s fastball up and in to another human being takes a certain sort of confidence, and young guys are fighting through nerves, uncertainty, and doubt. Set the target right under the hands!

Matz definitely fought through nerves on Sunday. He walked Dee Gordon on five pitches, starting the speedy second basemen 3-0. He started the game off with eight straight fastballs. Either he was going the Bartolo Colon route (it worked on Saturday, so I’m not discounting the idea) or Matz was trying to find his bearings. With how nasty Matz’s curveball can be, I’m opting to believe in the former.

The walk to Gordon led to the Marlins first run when Marcell Ozuna singled with two outs. Matz hung a 1-2 curveball, and Ozuna lined it into left field. Matz allowed his second run on a first pitch fastball to Jeff Mathis in the fifth. The pitch was low and inside black, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad pitch. Typically you don’t see right-handers golf pitches like that out, but Mathis made a good swing on it. The home run was disappointing in the respect that Matz had finished off the fourth inning impressively after allowing a leadoff single to the hitting machine that is Martin Prado and a walk to Ozuna. Matz then got Casey McGehee to lineout and struck out Gillespie and Miguel Rojas. The strikeout of Rojas came on a called 94-mph fastball knee high on the inside black.

I love at-bats like that when the batter is simply frozen by a pitch. It reminds me of the ending scenes in 80s shows like Chips.

Unfortunately, Matz exited the game after 5 1/3 with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, but at 81 pitches already he was likely finishing the sixth inning and calling it an afternoon. I thought Matz battled nerves well, settling in to pitch pretty well after having trouble locating his fastball early. I’m curious to see in his next start if the blister will be a reoccurring issue and also if he can work in his changeup more. He threw a few of them yesterday, but mostly he worked with his fastball.

On the afternoon, Matz threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup    10 12.3
##   Curveball    10 12.3
##      Sinker    61 75.3

Pitch Type by Inning

##            1 2 3  4 5 6
## Changeup   4 1 0  4 0 1
## Curveball  2 1 2  2 3 0
## Sinker    15 8 9 19 7 3

Pitches by Outcome:

##                     Changeup Curveball Sinker
## Ball                       4         5     20
## Ball In Dirt               1         0      0
## Called Strike              2         0     15
## Foul                       0         0     13
## Foul (Runner Going)        0         0      1
## In play, no out            0         0      2
## In play, out(s)            2         1      6
## In play, run(s)            0         1      1
## Swinging Strike            1         3      3

Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat

##                  Changeup Curveball Sinker
## Forceout                1         0      0
## Grounded Into DP        0         0      1
## Groundout               0         0      3
## Home Run                0         0      1
## Lineout                 1         1      1
## Pop Out                 0         0      1
## Single                  0         1      2
## Strikeout               0         3      3
## Walk                    0         0      2

Pitches by Zone Location

##  Zone % Out of Zone % O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##   56.79         43.21     16.20     42.26

Note: Zone % is the number of pitches thrown that were considered in the strike zone; Out of Zone is the number of pitches thrown out of the strike zone; and O-Swing % and Z-Swing % relate to those pitches out of the zone and in the zone that were swung at by batters.

Calculations: I calculated the strike zone based upon the formula provided by Mike Fast in a post for Baseball Prospectus. O-Swing % = Swings at Pitches Out of the Zone / Total Pitches Out of the Zone, and Z-Swing % = Swings at Pitches In the Zone / Total Pitches In the Zone. Fangraphs has a great explanation regarding plate discipline, and I encourage you to read about it if you get a chance. After enjoying my site first, of course.


Pitch Types by Zone Location

##  Pitch Type In Zone Out of Zone O-Swing % Z-Swing %
##    Changeup       6           4     0.250     0.333
##   Curveball       2           8     0.375     0.500
##      Sinker      38          23     0.130     0.553

Strikeouts by Description

##                 Curveball Sinker
## Called Strike           0      2
## Swinging Strike         3      1

Standard Batting Lines Against Steven Matz

##            Batter PA AB H 2B 3B HR K BB HBP SF    BA   OBP   SLG Pitches
##     Casey  McGehee  2  2 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       5
##  Christian  Yelich  3  3 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       6
##    Cole  Gillespie  2  2 0  0  0  0 2  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000      13
##    Devaris Gordon  3  2 1  0  0  0 1  1   0  0 0.500 0.667 0.500      18
##     Ichiro  Suzuki  1  1 0  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       2
##     Jarred  Cosart  1  1 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       3
##       Jeff  Mathis  2  2 1  0  0  1 0  0   0  0 0.500 0.500 2.000       2
##     Marcell  Ozuna  2  1 1  0  0  0 0  1   0  0 1.000 1.000 1.000      11
##      Martin  Prado  3  3 1  0  0  0 0  0   0  0 0.333 0.333 0.333      14
##      Miguel  Rojas  2  2 0  0  0  0 1  0   0  0 0.000 0.000 0.000       7


Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Hor Mean Vert CRT Mean Hor CRT Mean Vert
##    Changeup 81.7 82.8 84.0    11.22     5.196        11.13         3.679
##   Curveball 77.1 77.7 78.6   -6.398    -5.630       -7.117        -7.307
##      Sinker 92.3 94.0 95.4    10.09     8.433        9.665         7.156

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate. As measured from the back point of home plate, the x-axis (horizontal) runs to the catcher’s right, the y-axis points at the pitcher, and the z-axis (vertical) runs upward.

Note 2: The corrected horizontal and vertical are based upon a paper by Alan M. Nathan from the University of Illinois nd account for the elimination of both gravity and drag. The corrected averages more accurately reflect the true movement of the baseball.


Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:

2015-09-07_Steven Matz_BoxPlot

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Stance:

2015-09-07_Steven Matz_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

2015-09-07_Steven Matz_Pitches

Pitch Locations by Batter:

2015-09-07_Steven Matz_Batters

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